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Aivis Ronis: we are nostalgia and opportunity in Russian politicians’ eyes

Aivis Ronis/flickr.com/International Transport Forum.
In terms of military forces, the situation in Latvia has improved, but the international picture, unfortunately, has worsened. Such is the opinion that was voiced by Latvia’s ambassador to USA and NATO, Aivis Ronis, during the Economists Association autumn conference.

Like Europe, Latvia is on the verge of change – our armed forces that were prepared primarily for international operations are now fully adapted for self-defence functions in their home country.

«Ever since recovering its independence Latvia has been teaching a generation of officers that has acquired valuable modern warfare experience during international operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. These people form the foundation of Latvia’s defensive capabilities. We should also mention synchronization of communications systems with Lithuania and Estonia. Current and planned defence measures are procurements show that we are on the right path,» – said the expert.

The transformation process of armed forces plays a vital role, especially in regions. Ronis mentioned the presence of foreign armed forces on Latvia’s soil as an important and motivating factor. He adds that it is necessary to continue financing and increasing the number of soldiers in Latvia’s armed forces.

He believes the weak point of Latvia’s security is inter-institutional cooperation. «The current objective of Latvia’s political government and diplomacy is to buy time and true allies for our country’s armed forces, so that they can be prepared to complete their duties in modern conditions,» – said Ronis.

In terms of relations with Russia, Ronis pointed to two main security risks: if Russia’s economic and social situation becomes worse, Moscow can be invited for global talks with the west. And the trajectory could lead to us as well. Even worse, if our region experiences some incident involving NATO and Russia, it could grow into a very unpleasant situation. Ronis sees no possible improvements in relation with the neighbouring state in the near future. He does encourage people to act wisely and responsibly. «Presidency over the EU Council has concluded, and now it’s time for our foreign policy to return home. This time – hands joined with Germany». 25 years since the restoration of independence, we remain nostalgia and an opportunity in the eyes of Russian politicians. It is one of the identities we now have to live with, – said Ronis.

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